Wednesday, August 31, 2011


photo taken early morning before the sun rose on Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana on August 14, 2011
This sunflower knew the direction to face and waiting patiently for the sun to come.

A couple of thoughts.

We have been taught by the Son of God to:
Return love for hate.
It is not enough to refrain from retaliation,
He said to purge anger from our hearts.
He required us to forgive people quickly, before they even ask to be forgiven.
We should love our enemies and love those who hate us.
He told us not to judge others.
He told us not to correct others.
 Instead, He said to be self-critical, remove our own faults,
and be tolerant and forgiving of the faults of others.


photo taken in Yellowstone National Park on August 13, 2011
"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin,
but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Roman 6:11

Here is a quick story that happened this morning when I was taken my dog, Patch, on a walk. I wanted to write it down so I would not forget it.

Our dog LOVES to go on walks. I usually take him around the neighborhood, but his morning I took him for a walk through the cemetery. I always have him on a leash to control him and to make sure he goes where I want him to go. However this morning, half way through the cemetary I decided to take his leash off. (probably should not admit that.. but it was so early in the morning that I am sure Animal Control personnel were still sleeping :))

Without the leather contraint tied to his collar, I experienced seeing our dog in a state of pure joy, freedom and happiness. I have never seen him run with so much bliss. Despite being completely free, he still remained close by and always came back when I called him.  The thought occured to me is first, what a contrast to have something so alive and full of life in a place of the dead and buried. But more importantly, I saw a glimpse of life in how God intends it to be... free to choose, the happiness and joy that comes from being free from control, restraint from various sources ( free from sin, or free from people who control and manipulate us, free from oppresion) We are created and born with agency to choose for ourselves...  yet we live in a world where many seek to take away our agency, control us through their seeking of more power and dominion.

While my dog was free to run away from his master, he stayed close by and when called, he obeyed and came back. This was a great lesson for me, and learning more about how to live my life, to stay close by, and obey my Master when He calls me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Celestine Pools

photo taken in Yellowstone National Park on August 13, 2011
write more shortly

Thursday, August 25, 2011

SACRED LAND: Prestine and Undefiled from the world

photo taken in Montana on the Crow Reservation on  August 14, 2011
photo of the gate we needed to cross. we needed to obtain a permit to enter onto the land.
Apparently not very many "white" man have been given permission.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


photo taken of Mount Rushmore on August 13, 2011
I have always wanted to see Mount Rushmore. Last week, on my trip to Montana, I took a day and went over to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Took tons of pictures. The photo above is probably a view that most people don't see of Mt. Rushmore. I would go so far and say that much of what I see around me, most people miss as well.

Yesterday there were two earthquakes in "diverse" places in the United States. Colorado and on the East Coast, primarily in the Virginia/ Washington DC area. Two areas not known for earthquakes or even on a fault line. Luckily, damage was minimal, but in my mind... very symbolic. The Washington Monument was damaged with cracks on the pyramid on the top spire. The national cathedral in Washington, one of the highest buildings in the city, suffered damage with several capstones dislodged from it's spire, and also surprisingly, the Washington DC temple with 4 of the 6 spires broken and damaged.

A friend of mine send me an email this morning. It is similiar to what we call the "Pride" cycle in the Book of Mormon.

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • From spiritual faith to great courage; 
  • From courage to liberty;
  • From liberty to abundance;
  • From abundance to complacency;
  • From complacency to apathy;
  • From apathy to dependence;
  • From dependence back into bondage.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


photo taken of newly sheered lamb at Wheeler Farm on August 23, 2011
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
John 10:11

  • Shepherds actually know their sheep, and have earned their trust and confidence; Sheepherders view the sheep as numbers, and are only concerned on how they look as a leader and getting the task done.
  • Shepherds lead from the front; Sheepherders control and drive from the rear.
  • Shepherds know the right way.. the only way; Sheepherders are looking better procedures, and quick time saving methods.
  • Shepherds talk softly and whisper; Sheepherders use a loud voice, use their authority and expect results.
  • Shepherds rule with love. Sheepherders coerce with fear.
  • The sheep willingly follow the shepherd; the sheepherder forces by compulsion and eventually find the sheep leaving the flock.
  • Shepherds would protect the sheep with their life; Sheepherders protect their own life and reputation.

Monday, August 22, 2011


SYBMphoto taken of wild flowers in Big Cottonwood canyon on August 11, 2011
Much of the meaning of sunflowers stems from its namesake, the sun itself. Wild sunflowers are often photographed with their tall stalks and bright petals stretched towards the sun. This unique behavior, known as phototropism, is a motif that has appeared in many ancient myths and is viewed as a symbol of loyalty and constancy. Their physical resemblance to the sun has also influenced their meanings. Their open faces symbolize the sun itself, conveying warmth and happiness, adoration and longevity. The sunflower's petals have been likened to bright yellow rays of sunshine.
The sunflower also provides nourishment and food. The sunflower seeds along with sunflower oil are a widespread cooking ingredient. Sunflower leaves can be used as a cattle feed, while the stems contain a fibre which may be used in paper production.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A FIRST for everything.

photo taken of my daughter's first time on a wakeboard on August 20, 2011 at Rockport Reservoir

Some people fear trying anything new. We fear the unknown, we fear not succeeding. We don't always like to attempt something we have never done before.

I found much symbolism in the process of having my daughter try to wakeboard and get up for the FIRST time. She had attempted to wakeboard previously this year down at Lake Powell but was unsuccessful. I think there was a reason why... it was because I was in the water with her.. helping her every move.. I was overcompensating and controlling too much instead of having her learn by her own mistakes.

 Yesterday, we tried something new. We had her get in the water alone.  I helped her get ready, put on her wakeboard, gave her a pep talk, and handed her the rope.

Holding tightly to a rope, she was patient, confident and willing to rely on the power of the boat to "get up"....not on her dad. Although her dad was there to help her, and give her some advice... but she needed to experience this on her own.  Without a rope, and without the power of the boat. she would stay submerged in the water, never to experience the exhileration of gliding on water.  While it took her several attempts, she finally succeeded. We were all so proud of her.

Tomorrow is the FIRST day of school for the upcoming school year for all my daughters. Tonight I sat down with each daughter and gave them a blessing. It is a privilege to give Father's Blessings... A blessing to connect them to the power that will help them "get UP", to hold onto a rope that will hopefully bless them to have a wonderful school year.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PROGRESSION: Recieving more Light and Knowledge

photo of the same rock structure as seen in the "Heavenly Messenger"  post below
(with the sun and black rocks). 
taken on August 13, 2011 
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts,
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
2 Corintians 4:6

It is our human nature to want to progress. We live in a world of survival of the fittest. If we are not progressing we are digressing. We have an innate desire to reach higher plateaus, to climb higher.. yet many of us become complacent. We become weak and tired.  We almost prefer others to do the work for us, to tell us exactly what we should do.

On my hike around Devil’s Tower, I saw this huge boulder sitting on top of another boulder. I felt compelled to climb to the top of this. It was an usual rock formation since the top boulder was very flat, almost “alter like”. Once I began to climb it, I quickly found the rock to be much larger, and impossible to climb to the top... at least without any ropes or technical gear. Yet the desire remained and I needed to summit.

So, the thought occured to me to collect rocks and build a foundation that I could stand on. Much effort was exerted to carry and build rocks that fit together to create a "pile" to stand on that would support my weight. It was a tedious process since the rocks were not easy to fit together. However,  once I had built about a 3 foot solid rock foundation, I stood on top of it. Unfortunately, my rock pile still wasn't tall enough. I was a few feet still low. Yet, trying to build a higher mound resulted in the rocks crumbling and falling...unable to support all the weight safely. I needed extra help, since I could not do this alone. Feeling confident and with faith, I counted to 3 and pushed off with all my strength. This was the point of no return, if I failed, I would have fallen back and hurt myself.
When we act in faith, nothing wavering, unseen strength comes to us.  The added help came. Mission accomplished and I enjoyed basking in the sun on top of this “mini-mountain.”. Lessons taught and learned.    


photo taken at the base of mountain in Wyoming on August 13, 2001

"When the Lord sends an angel to visit men, He gives him power and authority to appear to the people as a man, and not as an angel in his glory; for we could not endure the presence even of an angel in his glory. No mortall man has ever seen God in His glory at any time and liven. We may have seen the Lord and angels many times, and did not know it."
Brigham Young , January 8th, 1865. Journal of Discourses 11: 40-41

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
Hebrews 13:2

Here is a list of what Angels do:

· Serve as a messenger of warning
· Reveal new truths
· Invite humanity to repent and come unto Christ
· Teach Doctrine and the Plan of Salvation
· Messengers of Instruction
· Announce Judgment and Calamities
· Protect the Righteous and Destroy the Wicked
· Restore priesthood keys
· Have power over the elements
· Accompany Christ at His 2nd Coming.

"Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain"
Moroni 7:37


photo taken of "Devil's Tower" in Wyoming on August 13, 2011

zoomed in (upper left area) of the same photo above so you can see the people and the give a sense of scale to how large this natural rock formation is which is considered a sacred place for the Native Americans.
I'll write more shortly

Monday, August 15, 2011

BIG SKY MONTANA: Simultaneous Moonset and Sunrise

 Photo of moon setting to the west and the Sunrising in the east on August 13, 2011 in Montana

Connected to EARTH and HEAVEN: THE TEPEE

photo taken August 8, 2011 of a Teepee near Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana
"And my father dwelt in a tent."
I Nephi 2: 15

The word "tipi" comes into English from the Lakota language; the word thípi consists of two elements: the verb thí, meaning "to dwell", and  pi, and means "they dwell". Lakota verbs can be used as nouns and this is the case with thípi, which in practice just means "dwelling".

The tipi was durable, provided warmth and comfort in winter, was dry during heavy rains, and was cool in the heat of summer. Tipis could be disassembled and packed away quickly when a tribe decided to move and could be reconstructed quickly when the tribe settled in a new area.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WHERE TO FIND SAFETY? The story a mother and father quail.

photo taken near our home of a quail family on July 9, 2011
"For the day of my visitation cometh speedily, in an hour when ye think not of;
 and where shall be the safety of my people, and refuge for those who shall be left of them?"
Doctrine and Covenants 124: 10

The quail is a symbol of a contrite spirit, communal love, and higher consciousness. In Roman mythology, the bird depicted courage and victory. 

This year, we have had alot of birds nesting around our home. Canadian Geese, Ducks, Doves, Sparrows, Robins and even swarms of dragon flies.  When we arrived home from Lake Powell, we found a new family of quail hiding in a window well  for safety.  It appeared that this was the place that the female quail had her nest and her babies.  I took a quick photo of this family without trying to frighten them.

We also have a stray cat in our neighborhood. His name is Clyde. My animal loving daughter was concerned that Clyde might want to harm even kill the baby quail. She in fact wanted to stay/sleep outside all night so she could protect the innocent tiny quail from the night wandering cat. We told her that we would rather have her sleep inside, due to her safety. Reluctantly my daughter obeyed, but she stayed with the quail until it was time for her to go to bed.

Come to find out the next morning my daughters intuition was right... Clyde had found the baby quail. Apparently, the mother and father quail were no match to protect their children from the wild cat. All that was left was small quail feathers. The Mother and Father Quail stayed close by our home for a couple of days... childless/quail-less until they evidently flew away.  The circle of life is sometimes painful and heartwrenching. Yes, in this world, there is opposition in all things.

  • "Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out."
There is a good song that I heard recently entitled.. "Praise You in the Storm"

I said the path is too steep. JESUS SAID I WILL NOT LET YOUR FEET SLIP.
I said the road is dark. JESUS SAID I AM YOUR LIGHT.
I said I don't know the direction. JESUS SAID I AM THE WAY.
I said I am weak and tired. JESUS SAID I WILL CARRY YOU


photo taken on June 14, 2011 of portent storm near Disneyworld in Florida on our family vacation
"Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day;
yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds;
but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place,
that the storm cannot penetrate to them;
yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.
But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his;
and he will raise them up at the last day."
Alma 26: 6-7

Storms can be frightening. The awesome power of Mother Nature reminds us how little and powerless we are. Storms come in all forms...  there are the hurricanes, tornadoes etc.. but there are also other storms that are just as devastating. Financial Storms, Stormy Relationships, Internal Storms of Personal battles and addictions. 
 We all want to be prepared  for the storms that we will need to face... we have been taught early to save money for a rainy day. A great motto is prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. Recently, I talked with some friends who are big into preparedness. They are fully prepared temporally with guns and ammunition, and food storage. Yet despite being prepared, there is no guarantee that any of our preparation will save us. In fact, anything we do ourselves can't save us. Temporal/physical preparation might make the sting easier in difficult situation.. but only being spiritually prepared can ultimately save us. And there is only One who can save. That being said, truly there is only way to be safe from the coming storm... and that is to numbered as "one of His." Many are called, but few are chosen.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


photo taken on August 2, 2011 while driving north on the freeway to SLC from Springville.
"Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north."
Job 37: 9

Monday, August 8, 2011

HOPE: patch of blue sky across Lake Mary

photo taken on August 4, 2011 of Lake Mary above Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon 

Some people are like a patch of blue sky every day.
Their voices soothe deep pain.
Their smiles absorb harsh words.
Their touch heals mortal wounds.



photo taken on August 4, 2011 at the beginning of hike to Lake Mary 
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud,
 and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown."
Revelations 14:14
  • I learned yesterday the clouds are symbolic of a "white garment" over the earth.
  • Similar to the garment, the clouds can be a "protection" from damaging rays.
  • Clouds are also the way the life source of water is distributed over the earth.
  • The clouds at noonday with the sun shining are a brilliant white. Clean, pure, and majestic.
  • The color white is actually the combination of all colors.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

GLORY and COMPLETION: symbol of the 10-petal columbine

photo take on hike to Lake Mary on August 6, 2011

write more shortly

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

SACRED SPACE: the symbol of the altar

photo taken of the inside of a sacred Navajo slot canyon on July 8th, 2011
I will write more shortly.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


It is rare that I post things other than the photographs I have taken, but this was a video that was done by some very talented photographers. I would love to go back to Israel and capture something like this. I don't necessary like the music chosen, but visually I thought was beautiful, especially to see the interaction of the Heavens  (sky, stars, sun) effect Earth (land, sites, and locations).

Monday, August 1, 2011


Then if our hearts have been hardened,
yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word,
insomuch that it has not been found in us,
then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned.
Alma 12:13

Petrified comes from the Greek root petro meaning "rock" or "stone". Petrified wood is literally "wood turned into stone".

Petrified wood is the result of a tree having turned completely into stone when all the organic materials have been replaced with minerals. The petrifaction process occurs when wood becomes buried under sediment and is initially preserved due to a lack of oxygen. In general, wood takes less than 100 years to petrify.

I took the above photo of petrified wood and a living tree side by side in the Petrified Forest National Park which is located in the Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona.

There is much symbolism to be found in this image. How does a tree become petrified? How does a heart become hardened? What allows for a tree to grow? What is needed? Obviously a tree doesn’t become petrified overnight, but over a course of many years of being “buried” in material that does not allow the “oxygen” or “light” to in. There is a cycle to things in this world, a cycle that brings death, and a cycle that brings life. Which path is our hearts on?